Day: June 13, 2009

bad karma when travelling?

In Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, a person’s destiny in his next incarnation is determined by his actions. Everything he does will influence his future lives or reincarnations. Conscious actions carry more weight than the unconscious ones.

According to Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, we create karma in four ways.

  • through thoughts
  • through words
  • through actions that we perform ourselves
  • through actions others do under our instructions

While I don’t know whether incarnations or past lives exist, I do believe in karma. All actions have effects, positive or negative, instant, gradual or delayed. Broadly named the universal law of cause and effect, Karma essentially means that good things will happen to you if you do good things, and bad things will happen to you if you do bad things. Nothing complicated. What you contribute to the world and the lives of others comes back to you in some way.

Words and actions

I have said incredibly mean and hurtful things to people close to me, especially as a teenager, but I’ve learnt as I’ve matured to act more respectful and less selfish. No one’s perfect and I’m pretty sure most of us have said or done things we’re not especially proud of. While I’ve never had any problems with saying exactly what I think, I am incapable of lying. If I realize I’ve said something not entirely true I need to correct myself afterwards.

When it comes to not paying for something, I’ve failed once — in London in 2007. Afterwards I got such bad conscience that I promised myself to return the next time I visited London to pay. If I recall correctly I had spent the day in Chelsea and was heading towards Victoria Station. As I walked along Elizabeth Street in Belgravia I caught sight of The Chocolate Society and couldn’t resist the temptation. After ten minutes and one chocolate smoothie I glanced at the bill in front of me. £3.95. I looked around. Crowded. Almost ten people waiting in line. Only one employee. I can just walk out of here and leave the unpaid bill on the table and no one will notice. And that’s exactly what I did. I don’t know why I did it, but I know two things for sure: I’ll never do it again, and when I next travel to London I won’t leave without having stopped by The Chocolate Society. READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE HERE

travel tips

Passing it on as this guy sounds like my sort of traveller 🙂

“Tips and a great book from colleague and travel media guru Peter Greenberg

I have been traveling with colleague Peter Greenberg on and off for more than 20 years. To date, I have not met anyone who can spout more tidbits of travel information or give more morsels of travel tricks than this very well-versed road warrior.

From Madrid to Hong Kong, from London to Lisbon, from New York to San Francisco, Peter and I have exchanged travel secrets (though I have to say I have learned more from him than he has from me).

My first lesson happened two decades ago on a six-hour flight out of Los Angeles when Peter pulled out his carry-on, only to reveal a stack of unopened mail.

All I said was, “Huh?”

This high-flying efficiency expert who spends more time on the road than he does at home told me that this was the best time to get caught up on correspondence. As he tore open envelopes, discarding most but keeping some, I watched with fascination as Peter’s carry-on ended up only about one-eighth as full as it was when he first arrived to take the flight.

After that, I copied Peter, and this practice has worked wonders for me.

With that and many more anecdotes in mind, it was no surprise to me when I received a big package in the mail: the fattest travel advice book I have ever seen, authored, of course, by Greenberg.

“The Complete Travel Detective Bible: The Consummate Insider Tells You What You Need to Know in an Increasingly Complex World” is a big paperback, 624 pages long, with 35 chapters on everything from frequent-flier miles to security and terrorism, volunteer vacations, gay and lesbian travel, travel insurance and boating safety.

When faced with where to start devouring this massive missive, my first instinct was to skip ahead to Peter’s chapter on checking luggage. Since my sojourn-driven friend — who professes to have “some 18 million miles of lifetime travel” under his belt — has not checked any luggage in the past eight years, I wanted to see how he proposed us overpackers get our things to the destination to which we are headed.

There it was. The perfect answer in black and white: Ship your luggage.

My esteemed colleague, who practices what he preaches, says that some 17 luggage shipping services are on hand to help. Says Greenberg in his new book, “The benefits of using one of these services: you can avoid the excess baggage fee; the company usually takes care of all the paperwork for you, including airbills and international customs forms; and they can pick up and drop off the luggage at your home or hotel.”

Sounds good to me. Peter picks a few such companies to consider, including Boston-based Luggage Forward ( and the year-old Luggage Club (

I could go on and on about the redeeming reasons to pick up Greenberg’s new book, but I don’t have room here to do that. And I can’t promise the compendium covers everything the travel world has to offer — but I have to say it probably comes close.

In fact, Greenberg’s thorough offering has now become my very own personal travel bible.

Thank you, Peter!


how green is my internet? not very it seems!

Reading the full article of this was an OMG moment!  It seems the internet is not at all green! if you are in NZ and don’t get the Listener, search out this copy and read it! Or subscribe online of course

(for example – the daily google searches – about 235 million  of them – produce 47 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere)

Perhaps I wont feel so guilty about air travel now.

by Sarah Barnett

Reading the news online v reading it printed on dead trees.

The full text of this column appeared in the NZ Listener (June 6-12 2009).

If all the world’s a stage, the internet raised the curtain – and then jammed the playbill with hard-core peep-shows, but never mind. In the more civilised parts of cyberspace, the services that have connected teens the world over – so they can type, like, “OMG LOL” at each other – have also proved a godsend (or should that be Gore-send?) for environmentalists.

No need to fly to a conference when you can video-conference or catch it on YouTube. Entire rallies are organised, paper-free, through social networking sites. Given up flying? The kids can chat to their grandparents on Skype.

A future world in which communities are self-sufficient and perhaps more isolated is made more palatable if we know that connecting internationally is still possible. It’s just easier – physically and emotionally – to be green on the internet. Or is it?

The full text will be available online on 27/06/2009.
Subscribe online to the NZ Listener.